It’s been ages since a movie I’ve wanted to pay 13 American dollars to see has hit the theaters. I feel like there’s a dead zone in the movie industry between, like, Labor Day and October.

Alas, fall is here and that means movies-worth-seeing season is upon us! This weekend brought us Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Queen of Katwe – two that have been on my list since early this year.

I loaded up my three dudes and decided to start with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was a little more appealing to my older kid than Queen of Katwe, and to be honest, I was excited about it, too. It’s totally in my genre of choice (supernatural-ish) and there’s just so much buzz about it.

Now, total disclaimer here before I give you my thoughts: I have not read the book.

It’s been on my list for a while, and I want to read it, but I just can’t seem to finish the 13,000 pages I have left in Outlander. And, since moving on before the end is just not an option for me, my list of books-to-read-before-I-die is growing exponentially.

That said, after seeing the flick, I’m in no rush.

Here’s why. (Warning: spoilers ahead…)

It's peculiar alright: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (a movie review)

5 Things to Know About Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Before You Go

1. The film is based on a book.

But it’s not totally like the book. As noted, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a book I haven’t read, so I’m cool with you dismissing this as hearsay. Based on what I’ve heard from those who have read, the screenwriters took quite a few liberties (for several different reasons) with the screenplay version of the story. The book that inspired this movie has a big fandom online and in life … people freaking love the thing. Which means, there’s no way the movie could would live up to those expectations. It’s hard not to hope, however. After hits like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter that brought their books to life in ways we loved, we’ve kind of come to expect greatness in the books-to-movies game. I didn’t get a lot of greatness from this effort. But again, I didn’t read the book.

2. There is some creepy shit. Like, for real.

The whole keeping-a-dead-dude-in-the-bed-upstairs-so-you-can-reinsert-his-heart-to-freak-people-out bit was pretty ew. Just like the eye sucking bad guys and their high class, but still eye sucking, friends. This movie’s definitely not for the scared-y cat kids you have in your family. In fact, my youngest can tell you countless things about the soundtrack and dialogue of the film and next to nothing about the visuals because he spent half of the movie cowering behind his hands asking me if it was over yet. It’s a classic, dark and gloomy, questionably creepy, Tim Burton work.

3. There is no sexy stuff.

Someone asked so I thought I’d mention. They teased at some relationships and some jealousies and some heartbreaks, but nothing was really laid out and everything was left to perspective and assumption. The main dude, Jacob, was sort of starting something up with the main girl, Emma, who had previously possibly had a thing with his grandfather (I. Know. Weird.)? But Jake had no game and the girl was still recovering from a 60-year-old breakup and nothing ever really happened. I might’ve enjoyed it more if that had developed beyond a botched almost kiss. At least there would’ve been love to root for. I love love!

It's peculiar alright: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (a movie review)

4. The characters weren’t super likeable.

I mean, they were cool and interesting in ways, and you can see how with time and the written word to support character development they could’ve been great. But, on screen, in around two hours, I didn’t get to connect with them and embrace their personalities much beyond peculiarities. In fact, I can’t even remember what all of their peculiarities even were, and please don’t ask me their names. I just never got very attached to them and, should the bad guys have prevailed and wiped everyone out in the end, I probably wouldn’t have shed a tear over it. I hate feeling like that in a movie. I want to love someone. I want to root for someone. I want to feel like their lives matter — even for a fictional minute — to me in some way. I hated Jake’s parents. Jake was kinda blah and all of the peculiar kids were pretty forgettable, aside from the one I disliked (he was a hater), the dead one, and the weightless girl whose appearance was probably the most memorable of all. In honesty, Miss Peregrine, whose quirky personality and passion for the lives of her children disappeared into hawk form at the movie halfway point, and the bad guy were my faves.

5. Samuel L. Jackson slays again.

He was the villain and he was everything: witty, powerful, next level creepy, funny, evil, conniving, and cruel. Everything you want in a bad guy who likes to take time for a why-I-am-killing-you-and-exactly-how speech before he attempts to viciously off you. Everything from the time he came into the film (at the more than half way point) through the end was good for me and I was secretly wishing for his escape so that, should my children drag me to a sequel, I’d at least have him to look forward to. No dice. Although, in a land where everything is peculiar, I guess anything is possible.

You can catch Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at a movie theater near you.

 

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